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Fodor's Hawaii 2014
Palaau State Park
Palaau State Park Review
One of the island's few formal recreation areas, this 233-acre retreat sits at a 1,000-foot elevation. A short path through an ironwood forest leads to Kalaupapa Lookout, a magnificent overlook with views of the town of Kalaupapa and the 1,664-foot-high sea cliffs protecting it. Informative plaques have facts about leprosy, Saint Damien, and the colony. The park is also the site of Kaule O Nanahoa (the phallus of Nanahoa)—where women in old Hawaii would come to the rock to enhance their fertility, and it is said some still do. It is a sacred site, so be respectful and don't deface the boulders. The park is well maintained, with trails, camping facilities, restrooms, and picnic tables. To get here, take Highway 460 west from Kaunakakai and then head mauka (toward the mountains) on Highway 470, which ends at the park.
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